Honey and lemon tea, hot broth, bed rest and lots of fluids: most of us know that these home remedies can help a lot during cold and flu season, speed up the recovery and relieve the unpleasant symptoms. What’s more, scientific research has already shown that these home remedies are really efficient in the treatment of viral infections as well.
Fighting colds with the power of nature
Honey, for example, has antibacterial properties, broth helps replenish lost minerals and fluids, lots of tea prevents mucous membranes from becoming too dry and irritated, and plenty of rest reduces stress and can make the immune system more effective, so your body can fight germs more effectively. But here are some interesting and useful tips to use when you struggle with a cold, flu or sore throat.
Apple cider vinegar can reduce coughs and soothe pain in the throat, helps keep the airways clear and is also thought to have antimicrobial properties, which can help reduce the risk of bacterial overgrowth.
Mix a tablespoon of honey, a tablespoon of lemon juice and two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in a cup of warm (but not hot!) water and sip slowly.
Drink a cup of this mixture two or three times a day. You can also use apple cider vinegar for throat gargling by mixing a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and a teaspoon of salt in warm water. Be careful not to swallow any of the mixture.
Herbs can also be used to fight colds and flu
There are a number of spices that can be used when you are ill. Turmeric, cinnamon, cayenne pepper or ginger can all be effective in reducing symptoms, relieving inflammation and sore throat, and even improving your condition if you are experiencing stomach upset alongside upper respiratory symptoms.
You can make a tea of these ingredients: peel a piece of ginger, about the size of a finger, and grate or chop it into small pieces. Transfer into a small pot, add half a liter of water and cook for 5-7 minutes. Strain, add honey to taste and drink slowly.
To make a spiced medicinal throat rinse, add a teaspoon each of ground cinnamon, pepper and turmeric (or a little cardamom) to a cup of water, bring to the boil, strain and leave to cool, then rinse at least three times a day.
Red cloves and garlic have also been used for centuries to treat colds and flu. As well as their antibacterial and antiviral properties, they are good for the immune system, help dissolve and remove excess accumulated phlegm and keep the airways clear. Onions and garlic can be eaten raw or made into a decoction (which you can then drink several times a day, flavored with honey), or if you have a more sensitive stomach, you can try garlic extract or oil.
Onion syrup can also be helpful for those who suffer from a sore throat or hoarseness. Cut three or four medium-sized onions into large chunks, add them to 8 quarts of water and boil them slowly until they thicken.
Sip a mixture of five tablespoons of onion syrup and a tablespoon of honey several times a day. Instead of onions, you can also make a sore throat remedy from black radishes: peel and grate a large black radish, then squeeze the juice from the grated radish. Mix this juice with a tablespoon or two of honey and a little lemon juice and drink it.